Effective meeting management is an essential skill that involves time management, decision-making, good communication, and an understanding of the organization’s dynamics.
It is a complicated endeavor because meeting management requires handling your team’s schedule, preparing for the meeting beforehand, and securing the right virtual environment to meet.
In order to be successful in managing remote meetings, you’ll have to acquire facilitation skills. You have to make all team-related practices easier and more accessible.
Your teammates should feel at ease when there’s an upcoming team meeting because they’d be well-informed and aware that your organization is on point.
So, if you wonder how to improve your facilitation skills, we’ve prepared a list of 5 meeting management skills that will get you there.
Table of contents
1. Combine time management with team management
Managing a remote team meeting means navigating through different schedules in order to find the most suitable date and time for your meeting.
Usually, it also means sending back-and-forth emails to all involved so that you can arrange all the details.
We recommend you skip that phase and use a shared team calendar instead. This way, you’ll be able to combine both time and employee management.
A shared calendar can help you in many ways – you know your colleagues’ availability at all times, you can follow their progress and productivity, and you can easily reschedule your plans in case something happens.
3veta’s shared team calendar can even help you manage time zones in case your team is international. And, thanks to the automated reminders and notifications, everyone will be invited to join the meeting when the time comes.
You can also select different calendar views.
We have a daily calendar with your upcoming meetings and tasks. The weekly calendar looks a bit further and gives you a better overview of your plans for the following few days. And the monthly one is the most extensive one that you can use to re-evaluate your meetings and rearrange to-dos.
2. Tech-savviness but make it easy
We already highlighted how important your facilitation skills are for the organization of productive team meetings and the performance of your team.
A good video conferencing software can help you out by making the actual process of meeting up online much easier.
Here are a few features that you should look for.
Every remote meeting might be held under different conditions. You should be confident that your software runs equally smoothly on all devices.
Don’t let traveling or limited access to a computer stop you from looking and sounding professional while doing your job.
There are so many different types of online meetings — stand-ups, staff meetings, client meetings, weekly catch-ups, etc.
To have a separate link for each meeting and remember which one is the correct one when you need it should be considered as a talent.
Meeting rooms systemize and organize all types of meetings so that you and your team can easily access them with no confusion or frustration.
Almost every article that touches upon the question of how to run meetings effectively will tell you that engaging your attendees should be your number one priority.
By engaging, we mean creating polls, using reaction buttons, and interacting in the chat.
Creating recordings of your meetings is also a key feature that will allow team members to follow the discussion even after it has ended.
💡 Pro tip
If you manage a remote team, you need a collaboration tool that’s easy to use and ensures your team and client meetings run smoothly and effectively. See how other sales teams improved their collaboration with 3veta.
3. Prepare beforehand and make others do the same
In order to host productive team meetings, you not only have to prepare for the conversation but also let everyone know what the meeting is about.
Whether it is a routine or a strategic meeting, you have to clarify your objectives. If you are unable to summarize the purpose of your meeting in a couple of sentences, then you cannot justify hosting a meeting.
The first step is to identify your goals, the second is to create a team meeting agenda.
By systematizing your main arguments/concerns/issues/questions into bullet points and sub-points, you’ll never drift away from the main topic, you won’t forget what follows next, and your attendees will know what to expect.
You can share it with the meeting participants beforehand and encourage them to get familiar with the topic in question.
Such topic communication skills will contribute to the productivity of your session since other people will be able to add more arguments to the conversation.
The agenda is your compass toward achieving the goal of the meeting. Also, it helps you determine the duration of the session.
Make it too short and you’ll be left hanging with a couple of undiscussed issues or you’ll have to prolong it and, let’s be honest, nobody likes that.
4. Think strategically
To make the most out of each meeting, you have to think strategically about who you invite to participate.
There’s this popular saying that time is money. And meetings can sometimes take up a lot of your time. Therefore, it can cost you money.
So, don’t invite people who are not needed for the achievement of your objective.
Firstly, they won’t feel useful and their time would be lost because they could’ve used these 30ish minutes to do something else.
Secondly, they’ve taken the place of someone else who could’ve truly helped you during the meeting.
So, if you’re wondering whether someone should be there or not, we suggest two approaches.
Assign that person a role.
Every attendee should have a role or a task to complete during or after the meeting. If you can’t think of a role, you shouldn’t invite that person.
Or you can use the meeting cost calculator offered by Harvard Business Review.
You can take the number of people you’re planning to involve in the meeting, set the time limit, and roughly guess what each person’s salary is.
The calculator will tell you how much that meeting would cost.
That way, you can see for yourself if it’s worth it and check if you can save up by removing or replacing someone.
5. End with a clear overview of your discussion
By the end of your remote meeting, the most important thing you have to do is summarize.
Especially if your meeting was 30+ minutes long, people might have forgotten what you talked about in the beginning.
Therefore, when you prepare your agenda, highlight the most essential points and repeat them to your audience before you end the meeting.
Also, if your meeting was about solving an issue or distributing workload, make sure that everyone is well aware of all decisions that you’ve come to.
For instance, if you’re discussing the progress of a project you could say something along the lines of:
“Before we get back to work, I would like to quickly wrap up what we all agreed upon. The new deadline is Monday, 7 November, 3 pm. Mike will be your contact person in case you stumble upon any major issues. Joanne is responsible for X and Y. Zoe will take care of Z. The rest of us will continue as usual. Should you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me. And don’t forget to submit your weekly progress update each Friday morning.“
Providing clear actions, timelines, and owners means that you’ve stated what actions are to be taken, when, and who is responsible for their completion.
By summarizing your main points, you leave zero space for misunderstandings.
Another tip is to discuss when your next meeting will be unless you meet on a regular basis and you already know the answer to that question.
Meeting management skills in a nutshell
We might have covered the main meeting management skills and tricks but, honestly, there’s much more to cover.
Meeting management is a complex task that involves a lot of skills and practices, some are the foundation, and others are complementary.
But to ensure that everything runs without a hitch, stick to the basics and in the meantime try to perfect the details.